Adobe has struggled this year to keep up with a rising tide of Reader and Acrobat vulnerabilities. In March, the company quashed a PDF bug that attackers had been using for more than two months, patched Reader and Acrobat again in May to block another zero-day and fixed a Flash-related PDF flaw in July.
Tuesday's update was the fourth this year that plugged a hole already being used by hackers.
Although Microsoft patched more vulnerabilities Tuesday (34) than did Adobe, at least one researcher pegged the latter as the company that needs to step up its security game. "The lower-hanging fruit isn't Microsoft, it's Adobe," said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer at security vendor Qualys. "They seem to be getting a decent amount of attacks against their software."
Adobe has made moves to improve its security bottom line, the biggest being a promise in June to follow Microsoft's lead and release regular security updates for Reader and Acrobat. Originally, Adobe intended to post its second quarterly update last month, but a scramble during July to fix several flaws, including some introduced by Microsoft in a code "library" used by Adobe developers, ruined that plan. It announced more than a month ago that it would instead push the patch date into October.
Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat 9.2, 8.1.7 and 7.1.4 for Windows, Mac and Linux can be downloaded from Adobe's Web site using the links included in Tuesday's advisory. Alternately, users can use the programs' built-in update mechanism to grab the new versions.